Many Businesses that Close Due to Natural Disasters Never Reopen
“All businesses should assess their exposures to hazards and risks to their operations,” said Blake Clampffer, assistant emergency management coordinator for Travis County, Texas. “Fire and Flood are important, however businesses should consider other natural and man-made hazards.”
Natural disasters in Central Texas include: tornadoes, excessive heat, drought, high winds, hail, lightning and heavy rain.
It does not happen very often, but it does occasionally get cold in Texas. It is important to have a plan when icy weather hits too. And, as we have seen in years past, sometimes Texas catches on Fire.
Wildfires can move with incredible speed and wipe out entire neighborhoods homes, and businesses.
And businesses need to plan for more than just Mother Nature.
Man-made hazards include cyberattacks, utility interruptions, civil unrest, identity theft, road closures and the loss of a partner or Key staff member.
“A significant number of businesses that close for a disaster either never re-open, or do not fully recover and fail,” Mr. Clampffer said.
Here are several for disaster prep for businesses, below are some:
- Prepare to be self-reliant. “Discussions with business owners have shown self-reliance is often overlooked,” Mr. Clampffer said. In the event of a disaster, emergency responders may be delayed or busy with other emergencies. It is important to plan to care for your business, employees, customers and visitors until help arrives.
- Consider your employees wherever they are. Make sure to take into account employees traveling between sites and commuting to and from work in your disaster plans. And don’t forget to warn your vendors, who may be coming in from out of town, about hazards they may encounter trying to get to you.
- Prepare evacuation plans for your building and practice them. Stage a regular drill and make sure everyone can get out of your facility in a safe amount of time.
- Consider your customers. If you have customers visit your building, you may have to help them evacuate or shelter in place in the event of a disaster.
Prepare supplies. Keep some nonperishable food, water, a first aid kit, flashlights and blankets handy in case you, your staff and customers need to hunker down.
Plan for continuity of operations. Back up files in a safe, off-site location regularly. Designate a chain of leadership.
Sign up for alerts. Sign up for phone or text alerts at WarnCentralTexas.org and follow Travis County Emergency Services on social media for real-time updates.
If you live in Texas then a good site for information about flooding is www.ATXFloods.com.
Prepare, your life and business depends on it.
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